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Greetings DiscGolfersR.Us people,

I am writing to get support, and advice. When I play Disc Golf, I generally average around PAR. I am talking about playing a round with family, friends, playing a new course or practicing. Yes we all get bad shots, bad rounds, and even bad days. I tend to shugg it off and continue having fun.
But I have entered three tournaments (Debary "Tour Del Sol" = won Rec Division, Orlando Open = Rec Division & lost and Barnett Championship Adv Masters = kicked my own ass). One out of three isn't that great. I do not have a great deal of discs, and the ones that I do have, I know how to throw them and how they will react. But it seems that when I played the last two tournaments, My disc went haywire and didn't listen, ALOT. I made stupid throws and dumbass mistakes that cost me a lot of strokes.
Could this be classified as "Performance Anxiety" during tournaments? Could it be as simple as "I am not having fun" when I play in tournaments? I am getting tired of putting in money to enter a tournament and walk away with my head held down in shame because I know that I could have done a hell of a lot better. Does anyone else have the same problems? Can anyone relate? What does the DiscGolfersR.Us community have to say?

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I played in my 1st tournament 2 weeks ago, and man I was really worked up coming into the tournament. I play everyday and work pretty hard at getting better and find that by about the 5th day in a row I am kind of arm tired. I took the day off before the tournament and let my arm rest so that I wouldn't lose any distance or accuracy during the round. Being familiar with the courses that I would be playing I was able to think through a whole round and imagine each shot that I would be taking.

I arrived a couple hours early to walk the course and there where a couple of new pin locations that I wasn't familiar with, so I played those three holes as my warm up. I kept busy and warmed up putting the last 15 minutes leading up to the player meeting and grouping assignments. When we got our groups I really concentrated on learning my playing partners names and a little about them while we walked to our hole so i wouldn't think about that first shot.

When we got to the first hole I reached for the exact disc I had pictured in my head while thinking through the round. I was courteous and watched everyone else tee off; 1 was good and the 2 others not so good. This lifted my game and and I made the shot I knew I was able to without a mistake. I had put myself on auto pilot and took the bad thoughts out of my head by keeping busy and mechanical leading up to the tee off.

During the round I was able to enjoy myself and the people I was playing with because I had taken the time to set myself up for it.

1. Because of the rest, my arm held up and my putting was on the money.
2. Because of thinking through the round, I didn't get nervous about which disc to pull.
3. Because of warming up on the holes I didn't know, I was ready with my shot and disc selection.
4. Because of keeping busy right up to the first tee I didn't have time to over think, just start playing.
5. Because of this I had a great time and won my first tournament.

Cool Post Dookville !!! Way to call it !!!
over 40yrs old stick with adv masters
Developing a tournament head (performance under pressure) is not easy. Ultimately it requires experience and confidence and good choices and overcoming obstacles including your own fears and frustrations. There is nothing easy about doing all those things which is why so few players do it well.

There is no shame in playing poorly. So long as you play honorably and with true effort you have nothing to be ashamed about. You can be mad at yourself or disappointed or even crushed but in order to learn from the experience and live to compete another day you need to shed those feelings soon after the round (an old coach once taught me the 20 minute rule, after 20 minutes you have to drop those negative feelings and return to the human race).

In order to succeed you must overcome your fear of failure. To do so you must experience failure. Every great player failed and learned from it and overcame it. So go out and fail. Don't fail willingly or nonchalantly. Fight like heck and don't accept marginal performance from yourself. Play against better players. Play in tournaments. Play over your head.

You need to make a valid appraisal of your skills and measure each performance against where you really are. After 3 tournaments in the low Amateur ranks you are not going to beat up on the Pros in the near future unless you have fabulous natural gifts. Winning or losing is not the important measure as you have no control over who enters your division or how they might play any given day. Playing well for your current level and making steady progress upward is the goal. Keep on making progress for as long as you can and see where it takes you.
Well put Mark.....I entered my first tournament not aspiring to take the world by storm, but to exact how you put it; measure my skills and abilities at there current state. Yes, i was fortunate to win my division, and would have placed 2nd in the division above, but more importantly I was pleased to see my game under pressure in competition, and I really dug it.

I don't feel i played over my head, the two rounds where 4 shots over my average for the course I played. Based on the my level of play, would you recommend playing in the lower ranks again, or move up and recheck myself against even better players. I certainly don't want to hear the words sandbagger come up, but I want to see what I do if my game is off.
Seriously man you just need to chill out and play. If you're sick of loosing money, don't enter the tournament. It's simple. Anxiety should be left at home. Suck it up.
Dude, Your name is VICTOR E!
Just remember that... When you win, you can always smirk and say, "well, my name IS victory..."
I have been where you are at and I have been digging my way out.
Confidence is a necessity and can be very elusive. But you have to find ways to be confident and work on "increasing your luck" as Feldberg puts it.
Reading blogs and interviews and such can be a great help. What has helped me a lot is self realization and also reading everything that I could find on the mental aspects of golf. The vast majority of books written about ball golf have a disc correlation with disc golf. A great series of books is written by Dr Bob Rotella. I think the first one you should read is GOLF IS NOT A GAME OF PERFECT. He has probably 5 or so other books about the mental side of golf, with stories and examples, anecdotes and humor about how tournament play unfolds and also how you can increase your luck. Preshot routines and visualization techniques, being decisive and playing ONE shot at a time. If you absorb half of the info in these books alone, it will help you exponentially.
Being in FL you have many assets in the other players around you and also the caliber of golf there. I have played DG since the late 80's (rec) and got addicted to it and felt the need to progress when I was down there for work. Upon looking back at my experiences there, I believe I became hooked because of confidence. I KNEW I could beat the guys I was playing with. I was advised to play INT for a year and ADV for another full year and then play open. My first tournament was the Barnett open in 08, I had just got off the plane a week before and was using discs I was loaned in the week of the tourney, had no Idea what they would do... I believe I shot over 300 in 4 rounds. Int DFL card... not a great place to be. But that was it, all it took... Got in and got invested after that.
So, I played a year of int and went from DFL to placing in the last few tourneys I played out there and ultimately learned to rein myself in. Granted in NM, the level of play and the amount of sand baggers are at a much lower level but I am on the cusp of my third year of competitive golf and I have moved up to open. I know that my foundation and fundamentals are very strong and I also know my strengths and weaknesses. Even though, over this last year I placed/cashed (1st-3rd) in every tourney I played, all adv. I can play adv with my local folks and play MY game poorly and still win. That is why I am moving up. I have to challenge myself. I know there are a few guys that will smoke me nearly every time. But having learned to play my game and relax I know that they consider me capable of smoking them, so we are on the same ground.
Here in ABQ, the locals have a great advantage of having a discraft sponsored pro in our locale. She has been sponsored for a while and has a great golf mind. She is a big proponent of the book ZEN GOLF and we have talked about it a few times. It has changed her game for the better and she is actually spreading this book, knowledge and experience in a clinic at the Memorial in a few weeks. She has been a big asset to me and goes out of her way to help folks that go out of their way to ask her to. Local pros can be a big help.
Teaching folks and getting others involved in the sport helps also. I have learned as much from teaching as I have being taught.
The biggest thing that I think would help is being confident in your abilities. The only way that anyone can is by practicing. ALOT and in an open field, not on the course. The fellas at www.Discgolfreview.com have practice sessions and things like that, which benefit everyone. Learn your lines, form, and abilities. You will see your strengths and then in an actual round, you will know what your strengths are and THAT alone will allow you to play YOUR strengths and YOUR high percentage shots ,(what you pull off the best and with least effort/thought). As a general rule a hyzer is a high percentage shot compared to the anhyzer, but I have found that one of my strengths is the straight shot in many forms... That is where we all differ and that is why I stress learning YOUR game and being confident in it.
That is the only difference between adv and open really is the confidence to pull it off.
If there is anyway I can help ya, let me know.
I know 100+golfers in FL and I might be able to get you in touch with someone that can help ya out.
Also, Borders bookstores are closing in droves. We are talking bankruptcy flavored liquidation sales. = Golf books for CHEAP! Also on amazon you can get some amazing books on golf for like a buck!
And... Congrats on being at the tour del sol events, one of the biggest reasons for them is to teach the game. Next time you see Mike Barnett, give him a hug for me and DG!
OK people.
It's been over a year since I wrote on this discussion.
I have grown in experience and in Discs.
My last tournament, I played in the
Sarasota AMs in May 2012.
I was on the top card for my division for the first,
second, third and started out on it in the fourth round.
The first three rounds, I walked away with CTP prizes.
One prize per round. That is great for plastics.

Then on the fourth round, something happened.......
I was two strokes behind the leader. Then I ended up shooting something like eight over Par.
And I tired fourth place.

I had noticed something.............
The groups mentally changed.
Players were no longer saying things like
"Good Putt" or "Great drive" or anything positive as in
support for one another. It stopped being fun.
Everyone was so damn serious. In fact I had asked the
group to kick me in the ass after the third hole
because I was already three over (Bogeyed each hole).
And one replied "Why, we hope you keep it up".
And then someone replied "There are no friends
in the last round"

So my question is this......
How do I combat this situation ?
If I end up on the top card on the last round, what can
I do to continue having fun when everyone else is so
damned serious ?

Keep being yourself!!!!! I remember playing in last year Barnett tourney!! I was in the lead card on Sunday and it was completely different than the rest!!!! Like you said not enough talking!!! Serious!!!! But I kept being myself!! Talking smack,laughing, fooling around!! Just like me!!!!!  In the end they loosened up a bit!!!! If they can't have fun and play!! That doesn't mean you can't!!!! 

whoa!@ I was reading this as if it was current news. Yeah like the other guy said- be positive and the same as always. If these guys are that much of animals you should be able to beat them with your human brain.

i'd say use foreplay to get a good warm up. pull out as often as nessesary. use visualization. condoms help some people

Likewise to what Hippy mentioned,depends a lot on the group you're in Vic.Some take it way to serious.Patty/Elkin and I had a great time @ the same tourney.Be yourself,enjoy the best you can.usually this means you play better and really start to piss of the rest of the group..F... 'em.if they can't  take a joke.have a great time @ the DAytona Open this weekend.Hit chains my friend.

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